Congress questions failure to vaccinate entire eligible population by end of 2021
Former Congress party president Rahul Gandhi fired two year-ender salvos at the Narendra Modi government, questioning the pace of vaccination and falling behind its promise to administer both doses to the entire eligible population by the end of the year. He also hit out at the government on the Indo-China situation with Beijing renaming 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh.
As per the CoWin website, nearly 85 crore people have got the first dose and 60 crore have got both doses. Overall 94 crore persons of the Indian population, who are above 18 years, are eligible for COVID vaccine till now.
Mr. Gandhi tweeted, “The promise of the Central government was that by the end of 2021, everyone would get both doses of the vaccine. Today is the end of the year. The country is still away from the vaccine. Another rhetoric shattered!”
Below global levels
Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh pointed out that only 40% of the eligible population have received double doses. This is far behind the world average of 48% and the Asian average 55%. China, he said has administered two doses to 85% of its population.
Mr .Vallabh said, “When rest of the world was busy framing its vaccination policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was busy exhorting us to beat utensils. The government needs to tell us why it filed a wrong affidavit in the Supreme Court?”
He also sought to corner the government over the Indo-China crisis especially in face of China renaming 15-places in Arunachal Pradesh. Mr. Gandhi tweeted, “Just a few days back we were remembering India’s glorious victory in 1971. For the security and victory of the country, wise and strong decisions are needed. Hollow words do not win!”
Mr. Vallabh said on one hand China is renaming places in Arunachal Pradesh, setting up villages in Indian Territory and on the other, the government is still carrying on with 100-billion-dollar trade with China. “China claims 90,000 square kilometres of Arunachal Pradesh as its own. Why is the Indian government mum? Prime Minister Narendra Modi has still not named China as an aggressor,” Mr. Vallabh said.
In the last 19 months, the Indian reaction to Chinese aggression has been to remain mute, Mr. Vallabh said. “The question is why is Modi government compromising on territorial integrity of our country,” Mr. Vallabh added.
China has passed a new land border law which will be implemented from January 1 under which it will have civilian settlements on its disputed borders with India and Bhutan.
The nominal reaction to China’s incursion, Mr. Vallabh said, was to ban a few Chinese owned digital applications. Mr. Modi, the Congress said, did not talk about the Chinese incursions at any international forums that he attended over the last one-year. “We want a concrete strategy on China, if you can’t understand that we can assist you in forming one,” Mr. Vallabh added.
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